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playing: a thief's end

There are environments in this game (particularly the ruins of an opulent pirate colony tucked away in the Madagascar jungle) that are so detailed and lovely that I frequently found myself stepping out of the narrative just to explore them. I feel like the PS4 Pro is just powerful enough now that these sorts of interactive movies (à la Detroit: Become Human) are becoming a believable proposition. Naughty Dog’s game design philosophy is a bit more painterly than Quantic Dream’s (lusher lighting, more emotional nuances, subtler performance-capture around the eyes), and the actual gameplay is looser, even as the plot is tighter. I think in another couple of console generations this gameplay format is going to bridge the Uncanny Valley decisively and become seamless.

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